HistoryDiscussion.net is one of the most popular community of Students, Teachers, Learners and Historians. All the articles and resources published on this website are contributed by users like you with a single vision to promote discussions on History.
History is one of the oldest subjects of study. By history we understand the breadth, comprehensiveness, variety and extent of learning experiences, provided by the study of a particular subject. The growth of history has accompanied with the growth of human race. Thus history and man are inter-related or that history is a story of human race from beginning up to the present day.
History at present is no more confined to the study of political activities of man but it also includes a study of his achievements in the physical, social, economic, religious, philosophical, literary, artistic, cultural, industrial, technological and scientific fields, starting from ancient times up to the modern age. In this way its scope is very wide and varied in fact as wide as the world and as long as the existence of man on earths.
History links the present of mankind with his past. We cannot say that future is outside the scope of history. Experiences of history will form the history of tomorrow and in this way history is connected with future as well.
The most interesting fact about the extent and comprehensiveness of history is that today we hear of “History of Art,” “History of Culture,” History of Civilization,” “History of Religion,” “History of Music,” “History of Geography,””History of Physics,” “History of Philosophy,” “History of Education,” “History of Biology,” “History of the Atom,” “History of Literature,” “History of Mathematics,” and History of what not.
A learned speaker on a political, religious, literary or any other platform connected with any field of human activity, will place before his audience pure and simple history, connected with the life and achievements of some past of great human beings and nothing else. This makes the scope of history almost limitless, which knows no ends and also speaks of the importance of history as a teaching subject in schools and colleges.
Thus, history has expanded both vertically and horizontally. Its close connection with the allied fields of human sciences, has given new effects to historical studies.
In the words of Lord Action, “If the past has been an obstacle and a burden, a knowledge of past is the safest and surest emancipation”.
In the words of E. Lewis Hasluck, “knowledge of history illumines the whole of human life. It adds to our knowledge of the existing state of world, a knowledge in which the human society and institution has grown up, a knowledge for future.”
From the above discussion at becomes clear that the subject of history has no frontiers and that it is limitless and fathomless ocean, with no ends in view. However for instructional purposes in schools and colleges, we have to limit its scope and frontiers.
For deriving fullest benefit of historical studies, we should place before our students the broad out-lines of development down the ages on one hand and the detailed study of a short period of history, on the other.
The former will provide the whole sweep of the story of the past while die latter will give die varied aspects of the life of a people for a chosen period. In this way bodies the vertical and horizontal aspects of story will be studied together and provide full benefit to the education of our rising generation.
Making Teaching History More Interesting
The following points must be kept in mind for making history teaching more interesting and realistic:
1. Correlation with the Other Subjects:
In order to make the teaching of history interesting and realistic, it is of great importance to correlate the subject with other subjects.
We have discussed this Correlation in Chapter XII of this book Correlation of history with subjects makes it interesting and meaningful. Historical novels, if exploited skillful, help us to a great extent in providing the knowledge of history, to the people. They create an atmosphere and environment of the previous ages easily. In the same way, correlation with geography proves useful and helps in understanding the background of most of the historical facts.
2. Excursions to the Sites of Historical Interest:
As we have already said that today the world is not as it was about 2(30 or 400 years ago. However, there are places of historical interests where we can get the same atmosphere as it was during old age.
So, the excursions to the sites of historical importance are very useful in the teaching of history, and it will make our lessons interesting and realistic. Old historical sites, ruins and buildings are the real and original sources of history. They help us a lot in understanding the past and so such excursions are most important for the teaching of history.
Dramatization is another valuable device which makes the lessons of history interesting and effective. This device fixes the historical events in memory and helps in creating the real atmosphere of bygone ages. The students who had acted as Maharana Pratap understand the great hero more than an ordinary teacher of history. A student, who has seen Chandra Gupta, can learn more about Chandra Gupta than the student that has not seen him inaction.
4. Use of Audio-visual Aids:
Use of audio-visual aids can also make the teaching of history interesting and realistic. These aids are meant for making the history teaching lively and useful. Films and cinema, radio, cinema projectors and television can make our subject more realistic, and so a teacher should utilize these aids upto the maximum extent.
Use of maps also makes the teaching of history effective. The teacher tries to substantiate his statement with the help of these maps. If he can explain the various places of historical importance and the empires of the various rulers with the help of maps, the lesson becomes more interesting. In fact, map is not merely an aid to history / teaching but it is essential and we cannot ignore it.
6. Collateral reading:
Collateral reading should also be encouraged while teaching history. It develops the understanding of the subject. It fills in the gaps in the knowledge.
All the points mentioned above will be of no use if the history teacher lacks the qualities desired in a good history teacher. Actually speaking it is the competent teacher who creates an atmosphere for his pupils to roam in past and thus makes the teaching of history interesting.